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Adventure activities in Halkidiki

The Greek peninsulas that make up Halkidiki offer subdued holidays for relaxing by the stunning shores. There are also lots of opportunities to learn about the history of the area, explore its natural beauty, or just get active if you're feeling restless on the beach.

The Holy Mountain up close

The most easterly of Halkidiki's three peninsulas, Mount Athos is a monastic republic, where for thousands of years only men have been allowed to tread.

If you're male and would like to visit this spectacular and fascinating area, you'll need to apply for a permit, preferably around six months in advance. Although, if you arrange it through a tour company they can organise the details for you and the boat to get you there from Ouranoupolis.

However, if you're female, or you'd just prefer to see some of the 20 ancient monasteries that cling to the cliffsides, there are a number of cruise companies who'll sail you around the shore. Another option to get a glimpse of the Holy Mountain is to take one of the hiking trails that follow the border – there's an archaeological and pilgrimage route.

Hike Sithonia’s forests and coastlines

If hiking is your adventure activity of choice, head for Halkidiki's lush green central finger of Sithonia.

Choose from wandering the nature reserves of the central mountainous area, following more accessible, scenic coastal paths or ones that'll lead you between pretty towns. This is the perfect way of discovering the beauty of Halkidiki.

You can walk the protected area around 800-metre-high Mount Itamos to spot deer, wild boar and rare birds, or perhaps the seven kilometres of beach and coves around Porto Carras will attract you.

Alternatively, you could take the circular route wandering though pine trees and olive groves from Nikiti to view the 19th-century architecture of Agios Nikolaos, before heading back to the coast. Pack a picnic and enjoy lunch over breathtaking views.

Scale Mount Olympus the easy way

Looming over Halkidiki from mainland Greece to the west, you might be tempted to get up close and personal with the impressive Mount Olympus.

After all, it's said to be where the 12 Gods of Greek Mythology once lived. The highest peak in Greece, we don't suggest you try to scale it – instead, go on a bus tour from Halkidiki with other interesting stop-offs.

After a three-hour journey up to one of the mountain's plateaus, you'll be ready to stretch your legs to a remarkable aspect over northern Greece. A regular stop-off on a Mount Olympus tour is the 5th-century BCE city of Dion, located in its foothills.

Visit its archaeological park and museum to learn about Alexander the Great's history here, and see the Macedonian sanctuary dedicated to the God, Zeus. This is the perfect option for holidaymakers who are interested in learning about the fascinating history of Halkidiki.

Themed kayaking trips

With its craggy coastline and warm blue waters, there are few better ways to get a little adventurous in Halkidiki than kayaking. And with kayaking trips also taking in fishing, snorkelling and yoga, you can choose an activity to suit you.

Excursions will happily accommodate groups and families, and you can choose to paddle in your own kayak or in a two-seater, some of which have a third passenger seat so you can take the kids. If you're making a day of it, you'll get a few hours on the water perfecting your technique and discovering scenic spots.

Plus there'll be just as much time to stop off and swim or snorkel, relax on the beach and grab a bite to eat.

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